Life-Threatening Situation

Uncertainty About a Life-Threatening Situation Question: If one desecrates Shabbat on behalf of an ill person and it turns out that the action one performed that desecrated the Shabbat was actually unnecessary, does one require atonement for this transgression? Answer: If one desecrated Shabbat for no good reason, such as driving on Shabbat under non-life-threatening circumstances, certainly…

Muktzeh Due to Monetary Loss

“Muktzeh Due to Monetary Loss” In the previous Halachot, we have discussed several laws regarding Muktzeh which are certain objects that our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. As of yet, we have discussed three types of Muktzeh: “Utensils used for work permitted on Shabbat”, such as forks, knives, and the like, which may be moved on…

Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”“Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” in the Mussaf prayer of Simchat Torah (outside of Israel from Shemini Atzeret). This recitation…

“One Who Hears is Like One Who Recites”

In the previous Halachot we have discussed the laws of blessings of thanksgiving, such as the “Ha’Gomel” blessing, which require several conditions in order to recite them. Now we shall explain the law of “one who hears is like one who recites”. Our Sages teach us in Masechet Sukkah (38b) an important rule that applies…

Maran zt”l’s Tefillin-Checking

The month of Elul is meant as a time of self-introspection for the entire Jewish nation. It is therefore customary to pay attention to which Tefillin and Mezuzot need checking and to have them checked at this time. The Rambam writes: “If one writes Tefillin by himself or buys them from an expert or from…

Repentance Among the Nations

Repentance Among the Nations of the World Question: Yesterday, we discussed the concept that repentance is a novel idea Hashem granted to the Jewish nation. Does the concept of repenting for one’s sins not apply to the other nations of the world as well? Answer: The Midrash Tanchuma (Parashat Nitzavim) states: “When the Jewish nation…

Injustice of Our Hands

So that We May Refrain from the Injustice of Our Hands During the Ne’ilah prayer, the prayer that culminates all the Days of Awe recited towards the conclusion of Yom Kippur, we state: “And You, Hashem our G-d, have given us this Yom Kippur etc. for pardon, forgiveness, and atonement so that we may refrain…

Fast of Tisha Be’av

Those Obligated and Exempt from the Fast of Tisha Be’avSomeone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness One who is ill (meaning that he is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s status, one should consult a prominent halachic authority….

Eating Meat Following Rosh Av

The Mishnah in Masechet Ta’anit (26b) tells us that on Erev Tisha Be’av during the last meal one eats before the fast, one may not eat meat, drink wine, or eat two cooked foods, such as rice and an egg. Although the letter of the law dictates that the prohibition to eat meat only applies…

The “Three Weeks”

The three-week period between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av is dubbed by our Sages “Between the Straits,” based on the verse (Eicha 1, 3), “All of her enemies overtook her between the straits.” Our Sages tell us that these three weeks between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av…

The Prohibition of Milk and Meat Mixtures

The Torah states three separate times (Shemot 23 and 34; Devarim 14): “You shall not cook a kid in its mother’s milk.” Our Sages (Chullin 114a) expounded that each of the times this prohibition is mentioned comes to teach us another law: The first time it is mentioned teaches us about the prohibition to cook…

Sending Mishloach Manot to a Diabetic

Question: If one sends sweets to one’s friend as Mishloach Manot and the recipient does not partake of these sweets since he is a diabetic and abstains from eating foods containing sugar, has the sender fulfilled his obligation of Mishloach Manot? Answer: Let us introduce this topic by saying that there is a disagreement among the Poskim regarding whether or…